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Low Season in the Service Industry

Gaby shares her experiences surviving the low season as a service industry employee in Playa del Carmen

Septihambre is upon us, and for many who work in the service industries here in Playa, it is a time to hang on to those extra pesos and tighten up the budget. To get an idea of what life is like for those on the front lines I spoke with Gaby, who has worked in many bars and restaurants here in Playa. After four years of living here in the city, she’s seen the ups and downs that come with the shift from high to low season. She has some advice for those looking to survive the next couple of months.

The Playa Times: What was your first Septihambre like?

Gaby: It could have been better, I admit. I was used to having a very active social life and it was a bit of a shock to have it stop suddenly. I don’t recommend living off of tortillas and frijoles just so you can go out and enjoy yourself, though.

How do you prepare now for the low season?

I usually try to save up during the summer months. I also don’t go out as often this month and spend like I usually do. Since it tends to rain a lot during this period, the weather often helps to make plans for indoors.

What do you do for fun?

The great thing is that we have access to the beach here in Playa and it costs nothing. I try not to spend money on drinks at bars or eating at restaurants. It’s a good time to plan things with friends, like maybe a backyard barbecue. It’s also a great time to catch up on watching TV series on Netflix.

What advice do you have for others who are new to Playa and dealing with Septihambre?

Remember that it’s only temporary, things will begin picking up again in October. By November things should be back to normal again as tourism returns. The important thing is to plan ahead if possible. Don’t let your diet suffer because you aren’t eating as well as you should. Stock up at the supermarket and spend some time learning new things to cook. It’s nice to go out all the time, but I think of this as a taking a break from it all.

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